Kevin O'Leary thinks Aaron Schlossberg, the New York-based lawyer whose racist rant in a Manhattan eatery spurred a viral video on Wednesday, is "an idiot" whose career could now be over.
O'Leary, the entrepreneur and investor who stars on ABC's "Shark Tank," tells CNBC Make It that there "is not damage-control" for any business-owner who goes on a very public racist rant.
"If you go on a racist rant, you've finished your career pretty well. And, if that's who you really are, your career should be finished," O'Leary says.
Schlossberg discovered the perils of online infamy this week after tens of thousands of people shared a smartphone video showing him berating Spanish-speaking employees in the midtown Manhattan restaurant Fresh Kitchen. The video shows the lawyer threatening to call federal immigration authorities to have the employees in question "kicked out of my country."
After social media users identified Schlossberg as the man in the video, a Yelp page for his law firm, the Law Office of Aaron M. Schlossberg, was bombarded with one-star reviews from users commenting on his viral rant. Yelp even had to suspend reviews on the firm with a note saying the page is undergoing an "active cleanup alert," as a result of the flood of posts reacting to Schlossberg's news coverage.
CNBC Make It asked O'Leary if he expects the law firm's reputation to rebound from such negative exposure. But the "Shark Tank" star has little in the way of encouragement for Schlossberg.
"You know, that guy's an idiot," O'Leary says bluntly. "I'm not sure he's coming back. If that's really how he thinks about people, he doesn't deserve to come back."
O'Leary adds that while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you have to be careful about how you voice that opinion. "Those that go on rants, any kind of a rant — look, you deserve to say what you like, but you have to be respectful," he says. "And when you say things that are racist or sexist, you're just an idiot."
The entrepreneur and investor also says that business-owners must always be mindful of the power and scope of social media, which O'Leary notes "can broadcast all of the good things you say, but more importantly it can also broadcast all of the mistakes you make."
After all, "what goes digital stays out there forever," he says.
"Think about what you're saying and who you're saying it to with the assumption that somebody's listening, somebody's watching and somebody will post it," O'Leary tells CNBC Make It. "That's just the digital world we live in today."
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank," which airs weeknights starting at 7 p.m. ET.
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